The Oculus Quest 2 is the best all-around VR headset you can buy, but that recommendation comes with a huge asterisk. In order to use a Quest 2, you need a Facebook account! Luckily, you can minimize that hassle.
Note: Mark Zuckerberg says Quest headsets won’t require Facebook accounts starting sometime in 2022, although we don’t know what they will require. (Perhaps a “Meta account“?) Until then, you’ll need a Facebook account.
Why Make a Throwaway Account?
Facebook requires that each Quest 2 user must have a Facebook account. This creates three distinct types of Quest 2 users. The first is someone with an existing Facebook account who may have no problem linking their Oculus account and sharing their VR content with their friends, families, and followers. We aren’t concerned with these folks, so it’s the remaining two kinds of Quest 2 users that are the subject of this article.
If you’re reading this, you’re either a Quest 2 user who has a Facebook profile but doesn’t want to merge it with your Oculus account, or you don’t have a Facebook account and you don’t want one. Regardless of which situation you’re in, there are a few things you can’t do or Facebook will be annoyed with you.
What You Can’t Do
Facebook has several policies that limit how much you can circumvent the requirement to merge your accounts. If you’re thinking of creating a dummy account with a fake name, that’s prohibited by Facebook’s real name policy. Likewise, their policies also prohibit one person from running more than one account.
If you violate these policies, you run the risk of being permanently banned, which may also mean losing access to the software you’ve bought for your Quest 2. Clearly, many people are getting away with fake and/or duplicate accounts, but if you go down this path you run a real risk of losing access to your purchases or at the very least grappling with Oculus customer support explaining your situation to them.
Assuming that you aren’t willing to risk the wrath of Mr. Zuckerberg and want to stick within Facebook’s policies, there are a few limited options.
If You Already Have a Facebook Account
If you have an active Facebook account that you use on a daily basis, but you don’t want to share your VR activities for everyone to see, your only real policy-friendly choice is to dig around in your Quest 2’s privacy settings and limit who can see your VR activity.
Go to Settings > Privacy Settings and carefully look through each type of activity.
The safest option is to choose “only me” for all types of activity. This means that although your activity will be on your timeline, no one besides you can see or interact with it.
If You Have to Create an Account
If you need to create a Facebook account to use your Oculus Quest 2, then you can at least lock it down. Start out by creating a Facebook account on Facebook’s website as usual. Be sure to use your real name, a real profile picture (or no profile picture), and to fill out the required minimum private information in your profile.
Next, click on the dropdown arrow at the top right and choose “Settings & Privacy.”
Then, choose “Privacy Checkup.”
Next, choose “Who can see what you share.”
On the next screen, change every setting to “Only Me” and then select “Next.”
Under Posts and stories, set Future posts to “Only Me.” Since this profile won’t have any friends, you can leave stories on “Friends.” And, since there should be no past posts, there’s no need to use the “Limit past posts” option.
The final step involves blocking specific users, but for this account that’s irrelevant, so just complete the wizard. Now you should have an account that’s Facebook policy-compliant but is locked down as much as possible.
Modding Your Quest 2
If you really want to burn your bridges with Facebook, there may be another option. Although it’s not one that we can recommend. Hackers have managed to “jailbreak” the Quest 2, allowing users to bypass the Facebook login. However, as you can imagine that goes against Facebook’s terms of service, and there are other limitations, but it is something all Quest 2 users should be aware of.